Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cancun, Mexico: Raúl Martíns and a plot too thick to get much thicker

This whole story of Cancun pimp chief Raúl Martíns is so intriguing that I cannot let it go.

On July 18, 1994, the Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina - AMIA - building in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was destroyed in a suicide bomb attack. 86 people died in Argentina's and possibly South America's worst terror attack.

What does a terror attack in Buenos Aires, Argentina, 7 1/2 years ago have to do with a couple of whorehouses and a pimp in Quintana Roo, Mexico? A lot, apparently.

Claudio Lifschitz, ex-attorney for Cancun's pimp chief Raul Martíns, has come forward to spill the beans on his former client. If you are a bit behind on this story, you should stop here and first read this post and then this one. Then come back.

Former Argentine president Carlos Menem launched an investigation into the terrorist bombing. He named Argentine federal Judge Juan José Galeano to head the investigation. This investigation would be run parallel to another probe into a 1992 blast at the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires that killed 28. That investigation had borne no fruit.

Claudio Lifschitz, prior to becoming Raúl Martíns personal attorney, was appointed "prosecretario" to Judge Galeano's investigative team. A prosecretario is, depending on what source you read, either the judge's personal secretary, the #1 or #2 or #3 man in charge of the investigative team. I opt for #2 man-in-charge.

As such, Lifschitz was privy to a lot of hanky panky being carried out by Judge Galeano. When the investigation began to turn up evidence implicating the Iranian government and Hezbollah in the attack(s), Judge Galeano began to steer the investigators away from the Iranians. He did this because, attorney Lifschitz charges, President Carlos Menem was paid off.

Lifschitz laid out his charges in a book he published in Buenos Aires, titled, "AMIA". Lifschitz alleges that Menem, after being informed that the Iranians were behind the attack(s), sent a "bearded man" to Tehran to meet with Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. During this meeting, Lifschitz alleges, Rafsanjani agreed to pay Menem $10 million dollars. That money has subsequently been discovered hidden in a Swiss bank account in Menem's name.

Lifschitz further alleges that ex-president Menem, because of his Syrian ancestry, allowed two Syrians to escape from Argentina shortly after the AMIA bombing and then covered up their escape by ordering airline passenger lists and Argentine immigration records destroyed. One of those Syrians, Lifschitz alleges, was a cousin of Syrian President Assad.

Indeed, Judge Galeano tried to affix responsibility, or at least complicity in the attacks, on a car thief named Carlos Telleldín and various Argentine provincial police officers engaged with that thief in a car theft ring. When a video tape of Judge Galeano surfaced where he was recorded offering Telleldín $400,000 US to implicate the provincial police, Galeano and his investigative team were in hot water.

Judge Galeano and two of his top prosecutors were subsequently impeached and removed from office for "serious irregularities and breach of duty". In fact, only the car thief and a handful of Argentine police officers have ever been prosecuted and jailed in relation to the terrorist bombings that killed 114 people. And they are in jail for being unlucky enough to steal and later sell a van to the suicide bomber.

Current Argentine President Nestor Kirchner has called the botched investigation "a national disgrace". Additionally, Kirchner's government has issued arrest warrants for various Iranian government officials, including former president Rafsanjani, himself.

You still don't see the connection to a pimp in Cancun? Have patience and refer to the post's title where I declare "a plot too thick to get much thicker".

Raúl Martíns and his now deceased first wife were both players in the Argentine military junta's dirty war against the leftist opposition during the 70's and 80's. That dirty war included the governments of Brasil and Paraguay which form, with Argentina, the "Triple Frontier". It is through this lawless expanse of real estate that many Arab terrorists have entered South America and, probably, made it into the United States.

Before proceeding further, I would, in the interest of fairness, point out that the leftist opposition to the Argentine government was not all innocence and light. The opposion had evolved into several bloodthirsty Marxist and Maoist groups which murdered with impunity and financed their operations with kidnappings carried out against Argentine businessmen, political leaders and their respective families. It is estimated that the kidnapping operations alone netted the opposition some $70 million US during the 70's and early 80's and they murdered thousands of people.

In any event, Martíns was a big player in 13 years of government kidnappings, assassinations and the disappearances of somewhere between 9000 and 30,000 Argentine citizens.

When the military junta turned power back over to an elected president after their disastrous war with Britain over the Islas Malvinas, now known as the Falkland Islands because the Spanish speakers lost the war to the English speakers, a sham prosecution was launched against the former junta and its leader, General Jorge Rafael Videla. This fake prosecution was supposedly conducted to bring to justice all those who had spent more than a decade conducting a terror campaign against the Argentine people.

A bought off President Raúl Alfonsín and a bought off Congress made sure that the prosecutions didn't go too far when they passed a law called the "Due Obedience Law" which stated, among other things, that officers and employees of the military junta who carried out the dirtiest details of the dirty war could not be held responsible for following the orders of their superiors.

A lot of money was changing hands. A whole lot of money. And the payoffs continued.

New President Carlos Menem sealed the fate of the dirty war prosecutions when he took office by issuing presidential pardons to more than 200 top officials and military officers, including General Varela himself. This allowed operatives like Raúl Martíns and his now deceased first wife to breathe a sigh of relief and get on to other business.

That other business consisted of opening 11 sex clubs in Buenos Aires and catering to the whims of "VIP's". As we know, many of those VIP's were video taped during the exercise of their whims, however whimsical.

When current Argentine President Nestor Kirchner conducted his presidential campaign in 2002, however, all of that changed. Kirchner vowed that, if elected, the dirty war prosecutions would be restarted and the terrorist bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish AMAI building would be revisited. Raúl Martíns decided to high tail it out of Argentina.

He left the 11 sex clubs in the care of his son, Agosto, in Buenos Aires and then skated to Tijuana, Mexico. In tow he brought along his personal attorney, Claudio Lifschitz, who by now was quite unpopular in many circles in Argentina.

And Martíns made the right move. Kirchner was duly elected Argentine president and, as promised, he went to work. He and the new Congress squashed the Due Obedience Law, apologised to Israel and Argentina's Jewish population (at 200,000, the largest outside the USA in the Americas), and reopened both the terror bombing investigations as well as the dirty war prosecutions.

Lifschitz, after publishing his bombshell book which helped to lower the boom on ex-president Menem and his crooked Judge Galeano, was now engaged in defending various members of the old military junta. The fit with Martíns was a perfect one. His close association with a former employee of the military junta as well as the vast expanse of territory that lies between Buenos Aires and Cancun would serve to protect him from reprisals.

However, once a spy, always a spy. Martíns, still in close contact with his old intelligence service buddies, began to get pressure to, in turn, put some pressure on his attorney. Lifschitz says that Martíns began to insist that Lifschitz recant some of the charges made in his book. Martíns also began to demand that Lifschitz destroy evidence that Lifschitz had squirreled away as a life insurance policy.

Lifschitz says that various friends began to warn him that his life was in danger. Lifschitz says that he himself began to wonder when "my body might turn up someplace". Lifschitz kissed off Martíns and has now gone public.

So, there you have it. We go from leftist terrorists in Argentina, Brasil and Paraguay in the 60's and 70's to the Argentine government's dirty war in the 80's to suicide bombings by Arab terrorists financed by Iran's government of Jewish targets in Argentina in the 90's to a whorehouse and a pimp and a loose-lipped Argentine lawyer in Cancun, Mexico in 2007. Fascinating.

Where else could you learn all this on a Saturday afternoon?

Please visit the Pale Horse Galleries online store
for art, gifts and collectibles -- all hand made
by Mexican indigenous artists.

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